The UK faces a range of terrorist threats. All the terrorist groups who pose a threat to us seek to radicalise and recruit people to their cause. Prevent is a vital part of our counter-terrorism strategy to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
The Prevent strategy seeks to:
- respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views
- provide practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
- work with a wide range of sectors where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address, including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, the internet and health
Prevent will address all forms of terrorism, including Far Right extremism and some aspects of non violent extremism. Work is conducted with local authorities, a wide range of Government Departments, with community organisations and with many countries overseas. The police also play a significant role in Prevent, in much the same way as they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes such as drugs, gangs and guns.
We will use a range of measures to challenge extremism. Where necessary we have ensured that apologists for terrorism and extremism are prevented from travelling to this country. Here, the police and agencies will take action under terrorist legislation wherever possible. We also support local authorities and institutions to understand the threat from extremism and the statutory powers available to them to challenge extremist speakers, fund a specialist police unit which works to remove content which breaches terrorist legislation, and support community based campaigns and activity. Overseas we work closely with those countries where apologists for terrorism and extremism are most active.
A multi-agency, safeguarding programme to provide support to people at risk of being drawn into terrorist related activity, is available across England and Wales. Known as ‘Channel’, the process assesses the nature and the extent of the risk an individual faces and, where necessary, provides a package of support tailored to an individual’s needs. This can include access to mainstream services such as health and education, through to specialist mentoring and wider diversionary activities. The process is similar to other safeguarding programmes which protect individuals at risk from involvement in crime, gangs and drugs.
The 2011 review
The Prevent strategy was reviewed in 2011, and after an extensive period of consultation, was re-focused and introduced in its current form. The review was independently overseen by Lord Carlile of Berriew.
Work to stop people becoming terrorists will deal proportionately with all kinds of terrorist threat.
Prevent will focus on some aspects of non violent extremism where it creates an environment conducive to radicalisation.
The strategy draws a distinction between Prevent and work in support of integration, with responsibilities weighted appropriately between the Home Office and Communities and Local Government respectively.
The strategy reaffirms the Government’s commitment to deny public funds (including specifically Prevent funding) to any group that has recently espoused or incited violence or hatred.